Off To The United States For A Mission – part 2 July 26, 2011  by      

-A continuation of Thomas Bwire’s experience with the One World, One Rope jump rope team from East Africa.  Read part one here.

Last week I gave you a first look into the journey to the United States that started from humble beginnings with Innocent and Diana from Carolina for Kibera along with their counterparts from Tanzania.

At the conclusion of my last post I was having a chat with 13 year old jump-roper Diana.  After our conversation, Diana left me with this reflection of the opportunity that she had been presented with- “My teachers allowed me to go the U.S. and I know I will miss school. I will work hard and still try to create time to read while in the U.S. so that I can do better when I come back to Kenya. I will miss my friends and my mother who is not here to come with me to the airport.”

It was shortly after this that Michael came back with photocopies of the team’s E-tickets and off we drove to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Since we were going against the flow of traffic, the way was clear and we were able to avoid any heavy traffic.

Realizing that this was now my chance to interview Michael, I quickly pulled out my audio recorder and asked my question- “Michael, can you give me some insight into how this trip materialized?”

“My first visit to Africa was in January 2009.” He responded, “I travelled to Tanzania for about two weeks, where I met Benedict from Mkombozi Center in Moshi.  Later, I spent two days in Kenya where I met Innocent from Carolina for Kibera, who was dedicated to his work in jump rope training. Innocent coached six days a week. I also met Diana – what I loved about her was the fact that she had become one of the most talented girls in the jump rope program and she worked very well with other team members,”

Before I knew it, we had arrived at a police checkpoint at the entrance of the airport. A security check was conducted on our vehicle before we were allowed to pass through. Once inside the international check-in point in terminal two, I helped unload the luggage before taking out my camera to capture a few pre-departure photos.

Once I had finished taking pictures, we all embraced each other and bid each other farewell and safe travels. Now alone, I turned around to return to Kibera.

Kenya and Tanzania will be representing East Africa this time around. Two founders of the World Jump Rope Program are sponsoring the team’s trip to the United States this year.  Some of the other countries that are sending participants to the competition are the United States, Canada, Hungary, Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, Brazil, and India.

Participants in the competition and activities in Washington D.C. range between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. While in the United States, the participants’ itinerary will include- taking part in the three day, world jump rope competition, attending a jump rope camp, and visiting Ohio- the home of One World, One Rope founder, Michael Fry. In Ohio, the participants will spend time doing performances, presentations, and workshops, and will also teach jump roping techniques to people there. Lastly, they will travel to Seattle, Washington for a four day jump rope and gymnastic workshop. On July 23rd, they will fly back home from Seattle.

In the coming weeks, look for Thomas’ interview of the team following their trip to the U.S.

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